Construction began earlier in July on the long–awaited reconstruction of Yellowbird Street. This project will see water and sewer utilities replaced, bike lanes installed, and sidewalks redone. Normally it would have been just a simply repaving of that roadway, but due to the age of the utilities underground, it became evident that it would be prudent to replace those aging utility lines during this project.
Another issue that was brought forward was the need for some type of speed dampening along that roadway. Signs which have been erected have done little to slow traffic and neighbors along that heavily utilized roadways have had on occasion the need to replace mailboxes due to reckless drivers.
The city’s Public Works Director Tim Pinter provided the council a proposal to add a roundabout at the intersection of 6th Avenue and Yellowbird. The complaints that have been fielded by councilors for several years now and addressed by Councilor Honig at the July 20th meeting were centered around high speed and large trucks utilizing the Yellowbird corridor as a “shortcut” to Bald Eagle. The installation of signage has done little to “calm” the traffic.
By using Yellowbird, they avoid a number of traffic lights if headed to Bald Eagle or from Bald Eagle back to Collier Boulevard. Safety for neighborhood children and adults has been an issue with both Councilor Honig and former Councilman Amadeo Petricca when he served on the council.
At the July 20 meeting, Pinter provided an estimate of approximately $150,000 to add this proposed traffic dampening structure to the project. Councilor Honig passionately voiced his support for finally doing something and has been an advocate for a solution and strongly recommended.
In addition to the roundabout, there will also be two other sections which will have psychological narrowing of the traffic flows without physically narrowing the roadway. This is hoped to have an effect on slowing speeds and discouraging drivers from utilizing this as a “shortcut” of shorts. All of these are seen as a better alternative to “speedbumps.”
The Yellowbird project will begin at Bald Eagle and proceed towards Echo Circle South in Phase 1 beginning July 27 through November 20. Phase 2 will commence November 21 and proceed until March 15, 2021, from Echo Circle South to Fruitland Avenue. Phase 3 will commence immediately after and proceed to Collier Boulevard and is anticipated to be complete by the beginning of July 2021.
Like any major project such as this, completion dates are all held hostage by weather delays and drivers should find alternate routes to ensure their travel is not affected by work being done.
The Coastal Breeze News will be following the project closely and advising of any changes.